Parker Gallant exposes “who” and “what” is behind Ontario’s Energy Poverty!!!

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

The following is Part 1 of 2 in what can only be described as self-explanatory.

Kris Stevens…….thanks to Bing

The first “character” in this “power play to poverty” is Kris Stevens  and his words that should read:

Green sustainable energy is working for Ontario making us “Green Idiots” all more prosperous.”

Not as follows”

(Parker Gallant) Wind Turbines and solar panels bring Ontario Energy Poverty: Chapter 1

(July 22, 2014) A letter to the editor appearing in the London Free Press on June 5, 2014 written by Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association or OSEA (who claim they brought us the Green Energy and Green Economy Act [GEA]); opens with: “Green sustainable energy is working for Ontario making us all more prosperous.”

There are a large number of people in Ontario who would disagree with that statement and they are reflected in the increasing number of people living in “energy poverty” which Mr. Stevens and his ilk had a big part in creating. Stevens and other renewable energy advocates pushed renewable energy and the feed-in tariff (FIT) programs on the gullible Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) and the OLP bought the sales pitch; lock, stock and barrel!

So what is “energy poverty”? The “Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination” define it as: “households that spend more than 10 percent of their income on home energy, affects about one million households in Canada. In Ontario, the lowest income quintile – one in every fiveNB.households –spend on average 12 per cent of their income on utilities,

NB: That would translate into approximately 530,000 households in Ontario based on the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) approximately 4.4 million residential electricity ratepayers as noted in their 2012 “yearbook of distributors”.

Finding statistics on those “one in every five households” however, is very difficult without months of research and a myriad of people to do the research.

There is no “central” place that either seeks or collects the data related to “energy poverty”! I did stumble on an organization; LIEN (Low-Income Energy Network) that has a genuine interest in assisting those “one in every five households” and managed to connect with them. Interestingly enough they had recently held their 10th Annual Conference and posted the participants as well as their member list. In a discussion with the LIEN Coordinator, Zee Bhanji, I learned that 14.7% of Ontario’s population is living at or near the “poverty line” and that she was not aware of where to obtain statistics related to “energy poverty.” The 10th anniversary of the founding of LIEN resulted in a letter from them to Premier Wynne and the leaders of all the provincial parties asking for support of a low-income energy rate affordability program for Ontario. The letter suggested a “threshold of 6% of total household income as the maximum amount that low-income consumers should have to pay for total energy bills”.



Parker Gallant: Wind Turbines and solar panels bring Ontario Energy Poverty: Chapter 2

(July 23, 2014) The first Chapter on “energy poverty” introduced the reader to LIEN (Low-Income Energy Network) who held their 10th anniversary (formed one year after the Liberals were elected in 2003) and to APCH (A Place Called Home) of the City of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton County.

The City has a population of 90,000 with Lindsay hosting slightly over 20,000 of that population.

In the research I found LIEN members included the CAW; who erected a wind turbine in Chatham Kent and the Windfall Centre, where Brent Kopperson sits as the founder and Executive Director. For those who have followed my articles, Kopperson was one of the original founders of the GEAA (Green Energy Act Alliance). Some of the attendees at the LIEN Conference also caught my attention as they included Environmental Defence (a GEAA founder), Toronto Hydro (the sole distribution company that attended and whose distribution rates have increased 176% in the past 11 years), the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) and the OPA (Ontario Power Authority). Union Gas & Enbridge were also represented.

Responsibility for creating “energy poverty” is not something that one would anticipate claiming responsibility for; but, as pointed out in the previous chapter, the letter Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli sent to the OEB certainly inferred it was the ruling Liberal Party that created it. The letter, from Minister Chiarelli to the OEB was dated April 23, 2014, just over 10 years after the Liberals passed: Bill 100,Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004 creating the OPA which brought us four (4) long term energy plans in a 10 year time frame and whose responsibility has been to contract for intermittent, unreliable, expensive renewable energy.

When I originally spoke with the LIEN Coordinator, Zee Bhanji, I questioned her as to who was the local distribution company (LDC) with the worst reputation in respect to cutting off clients for not paying their electricity bills. The answer was Hydro One, the Provincially owned LDC with about 25% of the residential clients in Ontario. Co-incidentally when I touched base with Jennifer Lopinski of APCH it turned out Hydro One were the LDC for the City of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton County. The data that APCH had gathered and sent to me disclosed some interesting statistics that if applied to Hydro One’s full client base of 1.1 million residential customers and the 4.4 million total customers; paints a dismal picture for those living at the “low-income” levels detailed in Minister Chiarelli’s letter to the OEB. Minister Chiarelli certainly wasn’t concerned about the 11,800 plus personnel of OPG and Hydro One on the 2014 “Sunshine List”!


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